The next thing I heard put all my fears to rest. One of the two women turned and said, “It’s ok, Mary, we love you no matter what!” We had found Mary!
From the moment we were introduced, I knew it would work. Mary was charming, absolutely charming! And my husband showed all the earmarks of a great dad from the get go. He knelt down to her level, and carefully explained that he was her godfather. Then, she dropped the bomb. She asked, plainly “Why do you want to see me?” He explained, simply, we hadn’t seen her in a long time. That was it. It was the truth, but it wasn’t more than she could deal with. It was perfect.
As we left, the case worker suggest what we were thinking and that was that we start having regular visits. We were elated! Our first visit, on a Sunday, consisted of a trip to play mini-golf and dinner at Friendly’s. I’ll never forget seeing her in her aqua blue dress and white sandals! Soon, we were making the weekly trip almost an hour away for a few hours of Mary’s Sunday. In the mean time, we had to attend training, have a home study completed, a fire inspection completed and have in hand our foster care license so that Mary could begin to stay over night. The bedroom we set up in May was finally going to be used!
The licensing process wasn’t without it’s bumps. It’s difficult to explain the ups and downs of the whole process. There were phone calls, questions upon questions, (that goes both ways), and stress. But the day we got the license in the mail, the air of peace settled on us.
Soon, we were able to have overnight visits. We would pick her up on Saturday morning, and bring her back after church on Sunday. Mary blended right into our church family too, waiving the praise flags and dancing during worship! What a joy she is and what joy and blessing she brought to those in the congregation as well! Soon, our one night over night turned into two. We would pick her up after work on Friday and return her on Sunday after church.
As we made the drive to and from during the late summer, I remember wondering if we would still be making that trip in the fall. As the leaves turned color, I wondered how much longer it would be. I had prayed that we would get custody before school started, but it didn’t happen. Then the call came. Mary would be placed with us full time!
November 1, 2007
It was supposed to happen later in the day, but the call came about 2 hours early. Rich was rushing home from work, and I was too, because the social worker was on his way with Mary! We paced about the house, watching anxiously out the window for the car. Finally, it arrived. We could tell it was them because the care was going slowly. As it pulled in the drive way, we cautiously walked down the front walkway to greet our new house member. She bolted out of the car and exclaimed “I can’t believe I get to live here forever!!”